Despite feeling pretty sick most of the day, I somehow managed to get a lot of work done. The problem is that the effort completely wiped me out, which is why I came home and slept from 5:00 to midnight. Now my sleep schedule is going to be screwed up, which is a difficult thing to do when you only sleep four-and-a-half hours each night. But no worries, I'm sure it will all get straightened out... just in time for my upcoming trip to Europe when it can get all messed up again.
Assuming I get my travel plans straightened out.
This will be my eleventh year of taking a "birthday vacation" to somewhere I've never been before...
- 2000... Singapore - Kuala Lumpur - Bali
On my birthday in 1999 I decided to treat myself to an annual vacation, and started saving my money. The Hard Rock Hotel had opened up in Bali, so I decided that would be the place to go in 2000. I added on the Hard Rock Cafes in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for good measure.
- 2001... Amsterdam - Berlin - Copenhagen
When one of my best friends died the weekend of my birthday, the last thing I wanted to do was take a vacation. But the bad news just kept compounding in 2001 (September 11th was a particularly bad day) and eventually I had to get the heck out of the country or risk losing my sanity. I had already been to Amsterdam and Berlin, which is why I added Copenhagen so I'd have someplace new to explore.
- 2002... Frank Lloyd Wright Tour (Wisconsin - Pennsylvania - Arizona)
My previous year's vacation came so late in the year that I didn't have much money for a big vacation. Instead, I decided to celebrate my love of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and make pilgrimages to his most famous sites during the year.
- 2003... Reykjavik - Stockholm
I had made some friends in Stockholm the previous year and decided to visit them. Noting that there was a Hard Rock Cafe in Iceland that I hadn't been to, I arranged a layover in Reykjavik.
- 2004... Hard Rock Run (Netherlands - Germany - UK)
I met a fellow Hard Rock Cafe fan on the internet who suggested we make a huge run through all the UK cafes, and eventually it expanded to include the three German cafes plus Amsterdam as well.
- 2005... Shanghai - Beijing
Since I had been dreaming of visiting The Great Wall for most of my life, I decided this was the year.
- 2006... Apple Store Tour (L.A. - Chicago - New York)
My China vacation was hugely expensive, which is why I decided to play 2006 close to home. When the beautiful new Apple Store "cube" opened in New York City, I decided to visit all three Apple Store flagship properties for a kind of "not-really-a-vacation" vacation, and save up for next year.
- 2007... Madrid - Lisbon
Because Barcelona is one of my most favorite cities on earth, I had always wanted to go back to Spain. Eventually I decided to work Portugal into the trip as well.
- 2008... Oslo - Götenborg
In previous years, I would start saving for my trip on my birthday. This year I decided to actually go on my birthday, which is a lot more fun. Trips to the Hard Rock Cafes in Oslo and Götenborg were made even better by meeting with long-time blogging friends in Norway and Sweden.
- 2009... London - Stonehenge - Bath - Edinburgh
Having just been to Mallorca a month-and-a-half before my birthday, I was going to call that my vacation and be done with it, but eventually decided I'd like to leave the country on my birthday as I had the previous year. Setting up blogger meets in London and Edinburgh was a great idea... but I had already been to both places before. To give me someplace new to explore, I took a tour of Stonehenge and Bath.
- 2010... ????
And here we are as I scramble to get something put together for this year's trip. Some of the details are in place (I know where I will be on my actual birthday, for example). But everything else... from transportation to hotels... is a big question mark at this point. Since I leave in three weeks, I suppose I'd better get it figured out.
Fortunately, I am now wide-awake at 2:30am, so I can get to work.
If only I could get motivated to actually do it.